Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
PW2021 Adult #51: SUMMER BREAKDOWN (Upmarket Women’s Fiction)
Colleen Temple
Mentored by:
Noreen and Stephenie
Book Title:
Upmarket Women's Fiction
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
suicide, loss of child, mental health, death of a parent, alcoholism


Motherhood hasn't been the elixir Sabrina hoped. While she's drowning in crayons, a call from her mother pulls her back to Seaside. Her estranged father is dying, and their family is desperate. It’s been fifteen years since her sister's tragic accident, but now, Sabrina’s unresolved grief is waiting for her, and this time—she can’t run away. Returning home doesn't just unearth nostalgia and her high school ex, it brings to surface secrets that threaten to unravel her and her carefully crafted life completely.



Chapter 1

We turn down Ely Street, and my childhood home comes into view. A wave of nausea rolls in my gut, quickly traveling up my throat, into my mouth.

Do not puke in this woman’s Lyft, I coach myself, desperately grabbing for my water bottle. I close my eyes and take a sip.

When my eyes open, I see it again. The little blue cape that held the three little Harrison girls. The big oak tree I’d climb when I needed to hide. The pebble driveway I’ve fallen in hundreds of times. The front steps my boyfriend Kai and I would sit on, kissing until we got yelled at by my parents.

“We’re here,” I say softly, but the kids don’t say anything back.

“Coming home can be complicated, huh?” our driver, whose name on the app says is Fiona, asks.

My cheeks redden. I’m embarrassed my kids didn’t respond. I’m used to being ignored but ignored in private. Not in front of a stranger.

“You hit the nail on the head,” I say, and inconspicuously pinch the inside of my left bicep, diffusing some anxiety.

Deep breath. Say hi. Get settled. Eat dinner. Bedtime soon. Then quiet.

“We’re here!” I try again, this time with forced excitement in my voice.

5 responses to “PW2021 Adult #51: SUMMER BREAKDOWN (Upmarket Women’s Fiction)”

  1. Paige Wheeler says:

    This sounds wonderful. I’d love to take a look at more of your work. Please email me the synopsis and first 100 pages to me at paige@cmalit.com. Please write “Pitch Wars Requested Material” in the subject heading. Thanks so much!

  2. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Colleen,
    This sounds right up my alley! I’d love to take a look. Please upload your material to booksubmissions.caa.com with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line.
    Best wishes,

  3. Tamar Rydzinski says:

    Hi Colleen,

    This sounds wonderful! I would love to read your manuscript. Please send to querytamar@contextlit.com, making sure to write Pitch Wars Request in the subject line.



  4. Logan Harper says:

    Hi Colleen. I would love to read a sample of this. If you’re open to sharing with me, please email a query letter, a synopsis, and the first 50 pages to lharper(at)janerotrosen(dot)com. If you could include “PITCH WARS – Summer Breakdown” in the subject line, that would be great. Thanks so much and have a lovely weekend. Best, Logan Harper / Jane Rotrosen Agency

  5. “I’d like to see more— please send query letter, full manuscript, author bio, and synopsis to EWRquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Please attach all materials as Word documents, and include “Pitch Wars” in subject line. Thanks!”